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John Cameron
Personal information
Full name John Cameron
Date of birth 13 April 1872
Place of birth    Ayr, Scotland
Date of death    20 April 1935 (aged 63)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Ayr Grammar School
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Ayr Parkhouse
Queen's Park
Tottenham Hotspur

42 (12)
111 (43)   
National team
1896 Scotland 1 (0)
Teams managed
Tottenham Hotspur
Dresdner SC
Ayr United

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

John Cameron (13 April 1872, Ayr, Scotland – 20 April 1935, Glasgow) was a Scottish footballer and manager. He played as a forward for Queen's Park, Everton and Scotland and was noted as an effective goal-maker and goalscorer. In 1899 he became player-manager at Tottenham Hotspur and guided them to victory in the 1901 FA Cup. As a result they became the only club outside the English Football League to win the competition. In 1898 he became the first secretary of the Association Footballers' Union, which was the ill-fated fore-runner of the Professional Footballers' Association. He later coached Dresdner SC and during the First World War he was interned at Ruhleben, a civilian detention camp in Germany. After the war he coached Ayr United for one season and then became a football journalist, author and publisher.[1] He had previously worked as a columnist for various newspapers before the war.



Early career

Cameron began his career with local club Ayr Parkhouse F.C. before moving to Queen's Park. He played one game for Scotland in 1896. Alongside Robert Smith McColl, he played in a 3-3 draw with Ireland and helped Scotland win the British Home Championship. He later joined Everton, making his senior debut in a 5-0 home League win over Sheffield United in October 1895. Cameron produced some excellent displays for Everton and made 48 appearances and scored 14 goals. This record included 6 games and 2 goals in the FA Cup. Cameron had been one of the highest earning footballers of the day with Everton. In February, 1898 while Cameron was contracted to play for Everton he became involved in the movement toward unionisation of footballers in defiance of both League directives and club proposals which resulted in the power of players to seek high earnings. As the League were not willing to negotiate on this point Cameron broke contract with Everton and went to play for Tottenham Hotspur in the Southern Football League directly because that League did not support the proposal to limit earnings.

Tottenham Hotspur

In May 1898 Cameron was signed by Frank Brettell as a player for Tottenham Hotspur. In February 1899 he succeeded Brettell when he became player-manager and enjoyed instant success when, in his first game in charge, Tottenham became the first lower division club ever to come from behind against top flight opposition to win an F A cup tie with Cameron himself scoring the winning goal against Sunderland.[2] In 1900 he led Tottenham to the Southern Football League title and in 1901 led them to victory in the FA Cup final. After drawing 2-2 with Sheffield United, Tottenham eventually won the replay with Cameron scoring the opening goal in a 3-1 win. As a result Tottenham became the only club outside the English League to win the competition. Under Cameron the club also finished as a runners-up in the Southern League in 1902 and 1904. During his career with the club, Cameron scored 139 goals in 293 appearances, including 43 goals in 111 appearances in the Southern League. He resigned as Tottenham manager in March 1907.

Prisoner in Germany

After Tottenham Hotspur, Cameron went to Germany to coach Dresdner SC. While there the First World War broke out and he was subsequently interned at Ruhleben, a civilian detention camp in the Spandau district of Berlin. The camp contained between 4,000 and 5,500 prisoners. Gradually a mini-society evolved and football became a popular activity. Cup and league competitions were organised and as many as 1,000 attended the bigger games. Cameron was prominent in organising and playing football within the camp and was secretary of the Ruhleben Football Association. During his time at the camp he was also a member of the Ruhleben Tennis Association.

Cameron was one of several former professional footballers at Ruhleben. Others included former England internationals, Fred Spiksley, Fred Pentland, Samuel Wolstenholme and Steve Bloomer, a German international Edwin Dutton and one of his former Tottenham players, John Brearley. On 2 May 1915 an England XI featuring Pentland, Wolstenholme, Brearley and Bloomer played a World XI captained by Cameron.



Tottenham Hotspur




  • Who’s Who Of Everton (2004): Tony Matthews


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